This book is divided into three major sections. Part I gives a general introduction to the Talmud — its language, style of writing, mode of thinking and outlook on the world. Part II presents over ninety Talmud texts in novel format: Each selection, chosen from the Babylonian Talmud, begins with a famous talmudic aphorism or maxum. Next, a short selection of Talmud test is presented, within which the aphorism is embedded, in a new, modern translation. It is not only the language of the Talmud that is enigmatic: the concepts, values, and worldviews are often difficult for us to understand. The "Context" section is a response to this challenge. Finally, in the "D'rash" section, modern applications of the talmudic teachings are given. Part III contains glossary and indexes to make this book more user-friendly as well as guidance for the reader who wishes to continue the study of Talmud on his or her own.
Wait! You can purchase this volume on the Talmud together with a later exploration of Midrash at a discount!
Swimming in the Sea of Talmud accents the importance of study in Judaism and reveals how each generation puts its own imprint on this resource. There is much wisdom here about holiness, humility, blessing, cherishing special moments, silence, repentance, and ethics. An example of the latter is the following rabbinical aphorism: "One who causes others to do good is greater than one who does."
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice
Michael Katz received a B. A. from Temple University and a B. H. L. from Gratz College. He received an M. A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained in 1979. He is rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Westbury, New York.
Gershon Schwartz received a B. A. from Columbia University and a B. H. L. and M. A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained in 1979. He is rabbi of Beth Sholom Congregration in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.